Concealed Carry On College Campuses: Should Guns Be Allowed On Campuses

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The majority of staff and students are not concerned with being a victim of violence and feel safe on their campuses. Also, numbers and statistics indicate that faculty and students are in opposition of concealed carry on campuses being allowed. Even though the college campus crime rate is low, there is still a strong push for the option to conceal carry on campuses. Plentiful amounts of legislation have mentioned a need for changing the carry-on-campus laws to lead to a reduction in incidences of sexual assault. Changing to the ability to conceal carry on campus has not led to the reduction of sexual assault crimes. 22.2% of all campus crime is attributed to rape. If we were to arm students, there would most likely be an increase in those numbers, especially if the perpetrator is intoxicated. Campuses where concealed carry is permitted has a much higher sexual assault crime rate, whereas campuses that do not allow concealed carry, sexual assault crimes are not as significant.

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They asked nonowners, owners for non-protection, and owners for protection whether legalizing concealed carry on campus would be a good idea or not. All three groups said that legalizing concealed carry on campus would hurt the academic environment and reduce feelings of safety, especially during heated exchanges or determining the outcome of students. However, owners for protection acknowledge these harms and outcomes yet they still support legislations decision on allowing guns on campus. Still the participants of the survey predict that allowing guns on campus would create unwanted academic consequences. There is little substantial evidence on the anticipated consequences of concealed carry. There has been few, if any experiments to show how the legalization of concealed carry has consequences on campuses. One finding of their research is that protection owners feel safe by carrying on campus, but they know it will affect the academic environment and other students feeling safe. Basically, they care about their own well being as opposed to everyone else’s. Also, all three groups said they feel that the legalization of concealed carry would lead to professors giving higher grades.

This research surveyed faculty who teach at community colleges from 18 states about their attitudes toward the concealed carry gun policies that allow licensed citizens to carry a concealed handgun at college campuses. They surveyed 1,889 community college faculty who work in states that allow flexibility in deciding concealed carry policies and practices. Their findings add to the current guns-on-campus discussions by illustrating that there is an across-the-board consensus among different types of postsecondary education institutions and levels of faculty who wish to stave off permitting lawful guns on their campuses. The study suggests that faculty feel that allowing guns on campuses would change the tone from feeling safe to feeling threatened. Most of the research has focused on the community members of 4-year colleges and universities. This research, while replicating a study, investigated the attitudes and perceptions of faculty who teach at community colleges.

College campuses are not protected from instances of crime and violence, many people need to realize this. Campus officers and security personnel cannot be expected to be available for every act of violence or criminal act. Campuses have recognized this fact and have offered self-defense classes, still sexual assault and violent crimes have continued to occur leaving the effectiveness of these classes in question. With gun control debates in the spotlight, policymakers and higher education administrators are being forced to re-evaluate campus gun restrictions. Many people use “The Right to Bear Arms” as their main argument to be able to conceal carry on college campuses. The court recognized the safety issue allowing guns on campuses presents and decided that campuses should be able to decide gun policies as they deem fit. Those who are in favor of concealed carry, argue that citizens have the right to conceal carry, and campus bans violate the Second Amendment. Those who are not in favor of concealed carry practices argue that colleges and universities have an obligation to cultivate a learning climate absent suspicion, fear, and danger, and that by allowing more guns on campus the incidents of violence will increase instead of stopping. Studies address structural, institutional, and individual levels of dynamics. All in all, practices that promote ethical compliance as the drive for the administration of justice were proposed.

The laws created by legislation put public higher educational institutions in an uncomfortable position, they either, follow a law that much of the campus disagrees with or disobey the law by continuing to ban firearms and potentially risk a reduction in state funding. Campus carry laws involve more than just Second Amendment rights; they also include the First Amendment as well. Colleges, universities, and the students and faculty, enjoy special protections that allow them to teach and learn freely. Enabling the allowance of firearms on campuses will create an unwanted halt on academic speech, including students’ in-class expression and professor and student engagement. Students should be able to feel free to debate and give their opinion without feeling unsafe and scared. Also, professors should not feel obligated to give a student a high grade just because they might know that the student carries a firearm. Even though those who are for the ability to carry on campus because it is restricting their right to the Second Amendment, campus carry laws also violate First Amendment protections of academic freedom. This article argues that the legislation should rule in favor of the First Amendment, which protect academic freedom and free speech. 

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